PRIME MINISTER Boris Johnson has been holding daily press conferences on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.
Each day, significant updates and government changes are delivered to the nation as the deadly disease continues to spread. So what was said during today's press conference
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Environment Secretary George Eustice spoke during today's coronavirus press conference in lieu of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
He issued a message to the public urging them to "be responsible" and think of others such as the elderly and NHS workers, after panic-buying left shelves empty amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The Environment Secretary reassured that there was more than enough food to go around – but the challenge for shops is keeping shelves stocked.
Professor Stephen Powis, medical director at NHS England, echoed his claims, saying panic buyers "should all be ashamed" for depriving NHS staff of the supplies they need.
The professor went on to reiterate the importance of people avoiding social contact during the coronavirus pandemic.
He said: "It's not for somebody else to follow, it's for you to follow, it's for me to follow, it's for everybody to follow."
It was revealed today that nearly 20,000 fully qualified staff will join the NHS response to coronavirus, following a deal with the private sector which will include 8,000 more hospital beds being made available.
The deal will give the NHS access to 10,000 nurses, over 700 doctors and more than 8,000 other clinical staff.
National Health Service will also gain access to nearly 1,200 more ventilators and other critical care facilities that have come under intense pressure.The NHS will now have access to 2000 hospital beds, and over 250 operating theatres and critical beds in London alone.
What time are the daily press conferences?
The daily COVID-19 briefings were introduced after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was hit with criticism over his handling of communication around the virus and and the government’s plan to tackle its spread.
Number 10 has said the press conferences will take place between 4pm and 6pm each day, although Saturday's briefing was at 2pm.
A Downing Street spokesperson said they would like to “see [the briefings held at] a consistent time.”
So far, all previous briefings have started around 5pm.
Boris Johnson and cabinet ministers will chair the daily briefings as the outbreak continues.
Chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty have featured regularly in the briefings to answer questions from the press and public.
Professor Whitty’s deputy Dr Jenny Harries has also spoken.
On Friday, the Prime Minister was joined by Chancellor Rishi Sunak who outlined the latest financial measures to help UK workers and businesses.
He also took the extraordinary step of ordering pubs, clubs and restaurants across the UK to close in an effort to stop the virus spreading.
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Johnson had come under increasing pressure to take more action as social distancing measures announced on Monday were not being met by the public.
New social distancing measures will now be be reviewed every month to see if they can be relaxed.
The PM also revealed he would be chairing a meeting with supermarket executives on Saturday, in an attempt to keep food supply chains operating normally amid the pandemic.
The number of people who have died from coronavirus in the UK rose to 178 on Saturday.
Over 4,145 people have tested positive.
How can I watch the daily coronavirus press briefings?
The daily coronavirus press conference is shown live on Sky News and BBC News, while ITV are also viewing the briefings.
The Prime Minister's Twitter account will also be live streaming the briefing.
For those listening on the move, you can tune into BBC Radio 4.
BBC and ITV channels can be viewed for free with a valid TV licence.
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